July 31, 2020
Dear TCCBC church family,
Greetings in the Lord to you and your family! Summer vacation is gradually ending in another month as we enter the month of August. While it was hoped that the coronavirus spread would be reduced or end with the warm weather, it does not appear to be slowing at all. Instead, it is becoming more serious across different countries in the world. For example, trends of the second wave of the virus are showing up in India and Vietnam in Southeast Asia, South Korea and Japan, the U.S., Brazil and Mexico in the Americas. The situation has also caused much debates over the reopening of schools. Those against school reopening consider the coronavirus status still serious, and more people will be infected with school reopening, making it more difficult to stop the spread. The children will be safer doing their distant learning from home. Those who favor school reopening believe that the infection rate for children is quite low. There is more negative impact to the society like parents unable to work while caring for their children, not only causing challenges to family logistics, but also to the recovery of the economy. But more importantly, distant learning from home cannot replace the group learning environment in school with teachers and classmates.
The unrests in the recent two months also brought uneasiness to the residents of many large cities. Protests and demonstrations from the improper police conduct have evolved into riots and looting. Arson and shooting continue to take place from the unending protests in different cities. Innocent residents were killed or injured. Fires were set with attempts to siege the federal buildings. Federal law enforcements were sent in to guard and protect the federal properties and personnel. What is difficult to understand is how these incidents have somehow generated debates from people with different viewpoints. Some have regarded these as actions of protests, demonstrating “Black Lives Matter”, and the police should not have used force and tear gas against the crowds. Others believe that these demonstrations have gone far beyond the scope of “legal protest”. And then those who believe that without local leaders requesting help, the federal government should not interfere with local law enforcement and send federal agents to enforce security. Those holding opposing views, however, believe federal buildings are under federal authority. When they are under siege, the federal government certainly has the authority to protect them with troops.
The election year is upon us in the U.S. We have less than 100 days from Election Day. Under normal circumstances, the different branches of the government could use political wisdom to debate on political issues. Instead, they have become complex and unclear from the politics and the election. Even state government leaders have taken extreme positions according to their political affiliations. The degree of their differences is unthinkable. They brought serious disagreements, divisions, restlessness and anxiety to the society. We need to pray for stability and security in the country, reduce or remove differences among each other, and give peace in society a breath of air. We need to pray for ourselves also. Ask God to grant us wisdom to discern, and to use the Bible’s truths and perspective to objectively discern the matters happening before us, and to make wise decisions.
God has always been good to our church, providing for our needs year after year through faithful and generous giving from our congregations. FY2020 that just ended in June was no exception. Even with the coronavirus sheltering restrictions, we exited the fiscal year with a surplus and strong financials. Much of the surplus was built up in the first half of the fiscal year. Cash flow was relatively flat in the second half. We entered the new FY2021 fiscal year that began in July with excitement from the new ministry initiatives and having new pastors, while being prudent by staying at the same budget level as last year’s. Our monthly budget of $38,797 is actually $96 less than last year’s. But if we lose focus or become less faithful, we could face a deficit for the first time in the church’s history. The giving trend from the last 6 months shows we could be receiving close to $10,000 a month below our current budget. This is not the first time the church faces a budget higher than the giving trend. Each time, our congregation’s response to the needs had always covered the church’s expenses, because God is good and faithful to provide sufficiently to His church. So one more time, we look forward to experiencing God’s wonderful provision through the new fiscal year.
It is not possible to predict the reopening of the church and the end of the current pandemic. We have a challenge and a lesson for maintaining our interaction and fellowship with each other during this time. We encourage everyone to use the online platforms, such as YouTube, Google Meet, and other software to regularly connect and share. For our elderly members, please let deacons and church council members know if we can assist you to set up your computers and software to access the online ministry content. We will do our best to help. Hopefully, the online platforms can make up for our inability to gather in the church.
Fellowshipping in Christ with you together,
Pastor Job Lee, Senior Pastor
With fellow church leadership team